13 Back Cover Tips For Non-Fiction Soft-Cover Books

Book studies show that prospective readers spend about eight seconds looking at a book cover before deciding whether or not to buy. If the book is opened and table of contents and testimonials are read, chances are the book will be purchased. Therefore, how can you as the author, get your reader to pick up you book, open it and purchase? I believe it all comes down to four key areas:

A. Author’s Willingness to Commit The Rest of Their Life to Promoting Book

B. Cover Design (Which Includes Back Cover and Spine)

C. Title, Subtitle, Tagline, and Back Cover Headline

D. Finally, Actual Content of the Book

Since cover design is listed near the top, below are 13 recommendations I strongly encourage you to implement to help improve your book’s chance of becoming a bestseller. These tips are listed from top to bottom as to how they should appear on your book’s back cover:

1. Genre of Book: The only reason this is important is that it tells the bookstore employees where to shelve your book within their store. If your title can fit in to multiple genres, I encourage you to list no more than two. This is in upper left corner of back cover.

2. Back Cover Headline and Sub-Headline: This is located at the very top of the book and must be a bold statement to immediately grab the attention of your prospective reader. This headline is basically the title of your back cover. It should be in large print and bolded (bigger than any other print on your back cover).

3. Summary Paragraph: Under your headline / sub-headline you need to include summary of what your book is about, why the reader should care, and how the book will improve the reader’s life. This should typically be 3-5 lines.

4. Author Quote: This author quote is completely optional. However, if you as the author have come up with your own quote and place it on the back cover of your book it will soon be all over the Internet and quoted on other Web sites – all of which will bring more free publicity to your book.

5. “You Will Learn How To” Statement: This comes next on the back cover under author quote. In this section you re going to include 4-8 bullets points of what your reader will learn by reading your book. Oftentimes, these bullet points can be created by highlighting 4-8 of your best chapters in the book.

6. Testimonials: Lets face it, it does not matter what we say about our book, it matters what other famous people say about our book. Therefore, ideally you should list 2-3 testimonials from other recognizable author names that are in the same genre as your book. These testimonials should be no more than 2-3 lines.

7. Author Photo: If your book is a novel then your photo is not required. If you are writing a non-fiction and branding yourself as an author, speaker, coach, and consultant, then inserting a professional color photo on the back cover lower left side is extremely important. Note: never put your photo on the front cover of your book unless you are a world-famous celebrity. In doing so, it will be a dead giveaway that your book is self-published. However, always put your photo on the back cover.

8. Author BIO: This is very important to have 4-5 lines to the right of your photo telling the world who you are and branding your expertise. Make certain that whatever your 4-5 biggest streams of income are, you list these titles in your bio. If you want to earn income for speaking, coaching, and consulting then reference, these areas of work.

9. Sales Closing Line: This is missed by virtually all authors even though it is so important. Basically, here you are re-emphasizing why your prospective reader needs to buy your book. For example, my sales closing line on Creating You Own Destiny says: “This book is your compass. Let Patrick Snow help guide you to your own destiny!”

10. Publishing Imprint: Under photo and bio, you want to insert the logo of your publisher. If you are self-published, under no circumstance use your last name anywhere in your publishing company’s name.

11. ISBN Number and Barcode: One the lower right hand corner of your book, you need to list your 13-digit ISBN number and below this number should be your ISBN barcode. This is very important so that bookstores can scan your book and sell to their readers. Without an ISBN number and bar code, your work is not really a book.

12. Price Amount and also Pricing Barcode: Just as you need and ISBN number and barcode, you also need the same for your price. When a bookstore scans this barcode the price should appear in their system. Oftentimes authors will forget to also include the actual price of the book in this area as well. If your book is in the 150 to 300 page range and soft cover, you should price your book between $14.95 and $19.95. You get over $19.95 for your book is if it is hardcover.

13. URL / Domain / Web Site: I would argue that behind the title of your book, this is the most important item on your book. URL should be listed in big, bold print, at the lower left portion of your back cover of book. The only other item on your back cover that has a bigger font would be that of your headline and sub-headline. Be sure to capitalize the first letter of each word in your Web site address to make it easier for buyers to read and memorize. I can’t tell you how many readers have joined my newsletter after seeing my URL on my book in a bookstore. Often, instead of buying my book they simply memorized my URL and are now a subscriber to my newsletter. If I do my job, eventually, they will purchase a copy.

As you can see, there are a lot of detailed items to consider that need to be included on the back cover of your book. I encourage not rush this process. Take your time, and get your back cover of your book to look exactly as you desire it to be. The majority of my clients who come to me seeking help after their books have been published, are those who have room for improvement on their back cover.

If you are in need of help with your back cover, please contact me, and I will offer you a free 30-minute publishing consultation, to help you with you back cover and also position your book to become a best seller through other author promotion campaign ideas that you may not have considered.